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Gender Equality Division
Gender Equality News March 2020

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International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020 “Sex without consent is rape: European countries must change their laws to state that clearly”
Ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has called on all member states to change how rape is defined.In an opinion article published in EU Observer, she says that “Too few of our members treat this crime as seriously as they should, because their legal definitions of rape are not based on lack of consent”. She adds: “This places the burden on those who have been raped to prove that they – most often women – are victims.”The Secretary General also notes that monitoring by the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) has found that many criminal justice systems in Europe maintain force-based definitions of rape.“States must take full responsibility and change their laws to conform with the Istanbul Convention and the time to act is now”, she stresses.
Council of Europe Sexism: See it. Name it. Stop it.
One year ago, in March 2019, the Committee of Ministers adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)1 on preventing and combating sexism: it calls for specific action in respect of language and communications; internet and social media; media and advertising; workplace; public sector; justice sector; education institutions; culture and sport; private sphere. It is now available in 16 languages. It is high time to change the narrative! Join the Council Europe Campaign. Recognise sexism, call it out, and stop it! Do you think you are sexist? Take the QUIZ and have a look at the information video and the action page, to find out how the Council of Europe is taking a stand against sexism in our everyday lives and spread the word!
Campaign launched in Croatia
The Office for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Croatia marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 22 November 2019 by promoting the Croatian version of the Council of Europe webpage on preventing and combating sexism and the Croatian version of the Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec (2019)1 on Preventing and Combating Sexism
The GEC held its 16th meeting (13-15 November 2019) in the presence of prominent persons
The Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission (GEC) held its 16th meeting in Strasbourg from 13 to 15 November 2019. During this meeting, there were exchanges of views with Brigitte Grésy, President of the French High Council of Equality between women and men as well as with Valentina Beghini, International Labour Organisation - which adopted a few months ago a convention on harassment and violence in the workplace
Gender Equality Division organises gender mainstreaming training for Gender Equality Rapporteurs
On 11 and 12 December in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe Gender Equality Division organised its annual training session for Gender Equality Rapporteurs (GERs). GERs from diverse sectors such as artificial intelligence, sport, bioethics, pharmaceutical care, organ transplantation, Roma rights or children’s rights participated in the training, as well as a number of staff members
New study published: Gender-based asylum claims and non-refoulement: Articles 60 and 61 of the Istanbul Convention
A new publication is now available on Gender-based asylum claims and non-refoulement: Articles 60 and 61 of the Istanbul Convention. This publication belongs to a series of in-depth analyses of articles of the Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
Parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment
The PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination has produced an information brochure, which recommends measures and practical tools for national parliaments to end sexism, harassment and violence against women in politics. The study revealed that acts of sexism, abuse and violence against women were widespread in parliaments and undermined women's right to fully participate in political life.
Council of Europe mobilises for 16 days of activism to stop violence against women
On 27 November, the Council of Europe Gender Equality Division launched an internal awareness-raising action on violence against women in the framework of the international 16 days of activism to stop violence against women. Throughout the 16 days of activism to stop violence against women, staff members and visitors were invited to tie orange ribbons at a dedicated area in the Agora building of the Council of Europe, in order to symbolise acts of violence against a woman that they have experience or witnessed.
Armenian judges, prosecutors and investigators trained on practical tools to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence
On 14-15 December 2019, the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Academy of Justice of the Republic of Armenia conducted a training for 10 judges, prosecutors and investigators on how to prevent violence against women and domestic violence, protect the victims of violence and hold the perpetrators of violence accountable in line with national and international standards and the relevant case law from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
Ahead of the International Women’s Day, prominent women politicians from Russian regions mentor future women leaders
On 4-5 March, ahead of the International Women’s Day, a mentoring event promoting women’s participation in public and political decision-making took place in Moscow. A group of 10 women politicians and decision-makers who already actively participate in Russian public and political life from Arkhangelsk, Pskov, Magas, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ryazan, Tomsk and Tula oblasts, coached 25 young women leaders from different regions of Russia. The event took the format of a “World Café” which aims at fostering informal individual exchanges among participants as if they were discussing at a cafeteria.
Launch of the HUDOC-GREVIO database
The HUDOC-GREVIO database is now available online. It gives you access to all baseline evaluation reports, Government comments and Recommendations of the Committee of the Parties. This tool will allow you to search through filters to sort by document, language (French or English), date of adoption and publication of the documents, evaluation cycles, as well as by articles and keywords (forms of violence, target groups, etc.).
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